First Settlement - The Pecks & The Cabin
Peck Cabin
Lot 6, Block 107 (about 128 S. Butler) 1837 - 1857
Peck Cabin & Peck Cabin Marker
  • First Madison Building
  • Later to Robert L. Ream who renamed it "Madison House"
  • Builders: Abraham Wood, Joe Pellkie, and Mr. Lavec
  • “Peck Cabin” becomes a lodging house, eatery, post office and Madison's first Non Native residence
  • When completed, it was a complex of 4 connected cabins with enough space within them to house at least 50 patrons.
  • T–shape group of buildings – Each cabin approximately 18 x 24 feet and 1 ˝ stories high.
  • Old and crumbling it was raised before it fell 1857.

    The Peck Family
    Eben Ebenezer?

  • Born February 24, 1808
  • Died October 20, 1899

  • Born 1833
  • Died Febuary 29, 1916

    Victoria Wisconsiana Peck Hawley
  • First white child born in Madison
  • Born September 14, 1837
  • Died 1922

  • Dec. 9,1836; Belmont legislative session adjourned. Several men who had attended stopped at a Blue Mounds tavern stand run by Ebenezer and Roseline Peck. They were told that Madison was selected as the territorial capital. Upon this news, on Dec. 26th, the Pecks purchased 2 lots at $100/each to build their log cabin.
  • March (April 15, 1837??) 1837; Pecks arrive to see 2 cabin structures adjacent to one another with no flooring. The family has a small boy and Roseline is several months pregnant.
  • June 1838; Pecks sold their “tavern stand”
  • 1840; Moved to Baraboo
  • Eben left Roseline in 1844
  • They were, “a slave to everyone,” as Roseline later put it, for only one year – it was a huge undertaking to run the cabin.
  • "I shall be glad when it is all over and I am gone, too," burst out Wisconsiana Hawley to a reporter in 1917. She had been the first settlers' child born in Madison, and she was tired of hearing about it. "The papers have had a lot of stuff about us, but all the reporters know is what they are told by those who know nothing."
  • Her mother, Roseline Peck, arrived in Madison during a spring snowstorm in 1837, five months pregnant. She helped erect a primitive boarding house, lodged and fed dozens of workers who came that summer to start building the Capitol, and on September 14 gave birth to a daughter, the first non-Indian child born in Madison. "When she was less than a week old," Mrs. Peck later recalled, "Judge Doty, one of the commissioners for the erection of the capitol and treasurer of the board, arrived from Green Bay with a large sum of specie, guarded by Capt. John Symington and a squad of soldiers from the garrison at Fort Howard, accompanied by Charles C. Sholes, an early editor and legislator of Wisconsin. They put up at our house. Doty ordered a table spread with wine and he and his party standing around it as solemn as a funeral — prophetic shadows go before — sipped their wine and named the young babe, Wisconsiana. Simeon Mills said as my boy's name was Victor, his sister's name should be Victoria — in honor of the young queen who had but a few weeks before ascended the English throne; so that name was added, making her full name Wisconsiana Victoria Peck."
  • Only three years later, the Peck family sold their lodging house in Madison to become the first settlers in another primitive outpost, Baraboo. A few years later Mrs. Peck's husband abandoned the family to move out West, leaving Roseline and the children to what she called "a full share of life's troubles and disappointments and ... but few of its favors."
  • They remained in Baraboo, where Roseline Peck died in 1899 and her daugher married a local attorney. In her old age, the baby born in the wilderness of Madison and christend by the state's leading citizens was living with her second husband in a crude shanty outside Baraboo, on the shores of Mirror Lake. Wisconsiana Victoria Peck had become a little old woman of 90 pounds in a ragged house dress. "She reads well without glasses, and eats well," her husband told a reporter, "more than you or I. And sleeps three-quarters of the time." She died in 1922.